One of the hardest things I think for me to do is to love myself unconditionally. It’s hard not to think, “Why did I say that? I sounded so stupid.” Or think your hair looks dumb or wonder why your skin isn’t as perfect as that other girl’s or the easiest one to hate on..your imperfect body.
The thing I have a hard time with is that I have been in points in my life where I did love everything about myself because I worked hard and got my body to a good position and I felt pretty and bla bla bla. But life happens and things sometimes aren’t controllable and your body will not always be in this perfect position, even though you think other people’s bodies are and wonder what the heck how did they get so lucky?
But it’s not just girls that feel this way. Some of us are shorter than we’d like to be. Some of us still have acne in our mid 20’s. Some of us have a gut and just don’t have the energy or understanding of how to get rid of it. I know we read tons of articles and blogposts telling us to love our bodies. Love your curves, or lack of curves. But is it really about loving your fat or is just simply to love yourself? To be grateful that we are alive. To be grateful and to simply: Not Compare Ourselves to others, or even to ourselves at other times in our life. We are who we are in this moment and life is simply too short to compare.
We have things to be greateful for at every single moment in our life. Maybe our body isn’t perfect right now, but we live in a beautiful place and have wonderful people in our lives. Maybe our body is perfect but we are struggling with getting good grades or the approval of our parents.
Another girl may be skinnier than you..but you don’t know what she is dealing with. Her struggles are different-they may not be on the surface. Or maybe yeah, her life is perfect but so what? Being envious of her life isn’t going to make yours any better. Focus on YOURSELF but at the same time, don’t focus too much.I have a hard time when I hear people say, “Someone always has it worse than you.” Or be grateful for what you have because other’s don’t have that. What does what I have have anything to do with anyone else? Ya I can share what I have, share my gifts and talents but someone else’s lack of what I have does not ever make me feel better about myself. So let’s stop saying at least my life is better than theirs or at least I’m not..nope. That will never ever make you happier. Stop comparing yourself.
Maybe instead of hating that belly fat right now or learning to love our curves, think-I just want to take care of my body and do what I can. I just want to love who I am, right now, no matter what I look like or wish I looked like. Exercising not to “fix ourselves” but maybe just to get natural endorphins that make us happier and a stress reliever and we are able to cope with things better. Yes we should eat healthy, and yes we need to care about ourselves. We should always be striving to be a better person. To be more patient, to be more kind, to be the best person we can be. But to always remember: Enjoy life. Do you want to be in life thinking, I’ll enjoy it when I’m skinnier or after my nose job or after I get into law school or married? Will we only feel good about ourselves when people comment on our photo and tell us we’re pretty? Or can we learn to not need others to be grateful. We will be happy if we learn how to be grateful. We will never be truly happy if we only rely on the opinion of others.
In a Mom group the other day a mom posted a picture that said something to the affect of, “If Satan is trying to get you down again today with making you hate your body-just remember, he doesn’t even have one.” Those hateful and mean thoughts towards ourself aren’t coming from God who created you, but the person who is so jealous and hateful that doesn’t even have a body-and he wants you to hate yours.
My husband is so good at not comparing our family and our lives to others’. He doesn’t let facebook get to him and worry that we don’t have nice enough things. He couldn’t care less about that stuff. It’s so hard for me not to constantly compare what I have to others.
So my proposition is something I’ve been trying to practice myself. Practice not flaunting or bragging, but just living. I take pictures sometimes when we go out and do things, but sometimes I leave the camera at home. Sometimes I take pictures, but I don’t post them and just keep them for my own personal photo albums. Just sometimes to simply remember and cherish memories. It has helped me so much. When my husband does something sweet for me, my first thought isn’t-I better go post this on facebook so people know we have a good relationship. My husband is actually a little rough around the edges and honestly from time to time I worry that other people may think he treats me badly or isn’t sweet enough to me. And sometimes, I joke too much about how grumpy he comes off to others because I want them to know, he’s not always like that. But does it reallllly matter whether or not people approve of my marriage or jealous of my life? (Because that’s what you may be trying to do with those posts..at least I know I’m guilty of it)
In college I posted every adventure I ever went on, and would stress out if I didn’t bring my camera or document a moment. It was exhausting and sometimes I wasn’t enjoying the moment but was too focused on capturing the moment. It’s very freeing to just not take a picture every time you go out to lunch and not flaunt it in front of others for their approval. Or to go to a wedding and put your phone down and enjoy the wedding instead of taking pictures to post on instagram. Let the photographer worry about that. Please. The wedding will be more fun and the pictures of the wedding will be better if not everyone is holding their phone up trying to get a picture but hugging and laughing and having a good time. (Photographer rant sorry I had to!)
If you have a really fun weekend, try just enjoying the weekend and not taking pictures of it. Analyze your posts. Maybe you’re like me and you were taking pictures for others and not simply to cherish a memory. Instagram and facebook can cause others to feel left out or not feel that they are good enough. Keep that in mind. Sometimes I don’t post something because I don’t want someone else to feel bad that they missed out or something. Why are you posting that picture? Because you are just happy to be alive or because you need others to reaffirm that your life is good.
And above else-love who you are in this moment. You can always want to be better, but still love yourself no matter what.